Getting an education at the Propane Expo

February 25, 2014 By and    

The largest propane trade show and its rich curriculum await attendees in Atlanta.

The Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo will be held April 12-14 in Atlanta.

This event has always been known for having the world’s largest propane industry trade show, with an exhibit area that will hold nearly 250 companies this year. More trucks, tanks, propane equipment, gas burning products and services are on display than anywhere else in the world.

In recent years, the Propane Expo has also become known as the best propane-learning forum in the industry. Several years ago, Pinnacle was a standalone National Propane Gas Association educational event and was migrated into the Propane Expo in a consolidation of meetings and events. Attendees are now able to get much more for their travel dollars and time.

The education is divided among several venues in the Georgia World Congress Center, and the curriculum has something to offer for everyone working in the storage, transportation, marketing, sales and delivery of propane and related applications and products.

As a note of caution, you should know that many of the educational events are held in concurrent sessions, so you won’t always be able to schedule your time to attend every session in which you are interested. The Expo has a rich curriculum that gets a high level of interest from attendees for all sessions, so you may want to bring more than one person from your company to the Expo to gain maximum benefit from all of the educational offerings.

The general educational sessions are held at the convention center in meeting rooms adjacent to the exhibit floor. The sessions are 60 or 75 minutes in length and most are not held during exhibit hall hours, so you will have time to participate in all aspects of the Expo. These sessions are typically intense learning experiences.

The general session curriculum is divided into five major learning tracks, and instructors are chosen for their expertise in those areas. Expect to learn the latest information on safety, sales, supply and transportation, operations, and new technology. Some of the sessions are identified for attendees to receive certificates of attendance as a record of the learning experience.

Another popular learning experience at the Propane Expo is the fast-track sessions in the exhibit hall. A separate stage and seating area are set up for 45-minute fast-tracks on a variety of topics that can be more technical in nature and often related to safety and regulations. You are surrounded by, and only steps away from, all of the exhibitors on the trade show floor.

Certification sessions were a new training addition last year at the Propane Expo. Service technicians or anyone involved in the installation and service of propane systems and related propane applications will be interested in attending one or more of these sessions this year. They will be held in enclosed areas toward the rear of the exhibit floor, so you will be close to all of the vendors with whom you want to meet. Manufacturer experts conduct all certification training.

I want to make a special call-out for two educational events that will take place on Saturday of the Propane Expo. An online marketing workshop that morning has been the most popular session for the last two years. Ben Gutkin is back this year to provide an in-depth look at online marketing, with success stories from the propane industry.

The other event involves the Propane Education & Research Council’s Marketer Technology and Sales Training (MTST) program. There will be three MTST modules taught concurrently. To learn more about this program, including course and schedule details, go here.

The propane industry has a growing interest in learning more about the energy business in which we exist and how to successfully operate in our part of it. The educational program at the Propane Expo is a great way to meet that learning need.

For more details about the event, click here. Register and come to Atlanta. I hope to learn with you there.

Tom Jaenicke is the founder and principal adviser at ATomiK Creative Solutions LLC. He can be reached at 810-252-7855 or

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